By Keith Idec
David Haye has been brutally honest with Dereck Chisora.
The heavyweight contender’s new promoter implored him to work harder, to avoid cheating himself out of reaching his potential. Otherwise, Haye promised him, he simply won’t beat Whyte when they fight again December 22 at O2 Arena in London (Sky Sports Box Office).
Haye has noticed marked improvement in the 30-year-old Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs), who defeated former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-2, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision in his most recent bout, July 28 at O2 Arena.
“When Dereck asked to work with myself,” Haye explained during a press conference Thursday, “we sat down and one thing I was clear about was the Dereck Chisora that turned up two years ago isn’t good enough to beat the Dillian Whyte that’s gonna turn up on December 22nd. Dillian has improved immensely in every department. He’s probably one of the most improved heavyweights on the planet. He’s knocked out people who don’t get knocked out. Obviously, his team has been doing the right thing behind the scenes. He’s living the life.”
Since having heart-to-heart conversations with a receptive Chisora, Haye has noticed the Zimbabwe-born, London-based boxer taking his instructions seriously. The former WBA heavyweight champion expects a better-conditioned, smarter Chisora to enter the ring seven weeks from Saturday night for his rematch with Whyte.
“I’ve told Dereck he has the capabilities to beat anyone on the planet if he listens, if he’s willing to put the work in behind the scenes,” Haye said. “And thankfully, he’s listened to me and we’re both on the same page, and he’s doing what needs to be done behind closed doors, no fanfare. He knows this is his opportunity to gatecrash heavyweight world boxing. As you said, there’s a potential carrot of Anthony Joshua on the April 13th date. Dereck wants that date and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
“And I’m as confident as I’ve been for a long time. You know, Dereck’s shown me stuff already, this far out from a fight, that I know, talking to Don Charles, his coach, who’s worked with him [his whole career], that he hasn’t done before. He knows this is his opportunity. This is the Last Chance Saloon. They say that a lot in boxing. But this is his chance, and he will not cut any corners.”
The 34-year-old Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) weighed in at 250¼ for his split-decision defeat to Whyte in December 2016 in Manchester, England. Haye anticipates the 6-feet-1 Chisora coming in lighter for his rematch versus the 6-feet-4, 255-pound Whyte.
“You’re gonna see,” Haye said. “When you see Dereck stand on the scale, you’ll know that this is a different human being. And the heat he’s gonna bring on December 22nd is gonna be joyful for me, but it’s gonna be a nightmare for Dillian Whyte. And I’m just looking forward to sitting on the safe side of the ropes, because if you thought it was an explosive performance first time around, this time around, I know both fighters have risen their game. But I know, first-hand, Dereck is three times the fighter that he once was. And I just implore you guys to watch this fight, because it’s gonna be spectacular.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.